GLENS FALLS -- Tye McGinn knows his role on the power play — station his 6-foot-2, 195-pound body in front of the net.
Just over four minutes into the third period of Saturday’s season-opener, that’s exactly where he was.
McGinn scored the go-ahead goal on that third-period power play and Brayden Schenn later scored two more as the Phantoms beat the Portland Pirates 6-3 at the Civic Center. A crowd of 4,801 — five short of a full house — watched the home team win a penalty-filled game.
The Phantoms were on one of their eight power plays early in the third period when Ben Holmstrom fed McGinn the puck. McGinn tried to tap it between the goaltender’s legs, but Chad Johnson made the save. As his momentum carried him past the net, McGinn gathered the puck, poked it forward and found a hole between Johnson’s left skate and the post.
“Good things can happen when you’re hungry around the net,” head coach Terry Murray said.
“I think the big body in front of the net really has an effect and I think McGinn knows his role in that area. He competed hard and just buys space for everyone else. When there’s pucks coming to the goalie and you have a big body in front, he might just get a piece of it.”
Schenn made it a two-goal lead later in the third with a short-handed goal, cutting past a Portland defender and beating Johnson on the backhand. Schenn added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Three times the Phantoms found themselves down by one goal, and three times they responded to the challenge.
“The first game of the year sometimes you don’t know what to expect, but I think it bodes well for the rest of the year. It shows what kind of character we have,” said goaltender Scott Munroe, who made 30 saves for the Phantoms.
The Pirates scored first, a goal by Ethan Werek midway through the first period. With 1:36 left in the frame, the Phantoms answered with a Harry Zolnierczyk goal.
It took Oliver Ekman-Larsson 45 seconds to respond, rifling a shot past Munroe’s glove side. Forty-one seconds after that, Garrett Roe evened the score again. While turning and falling to the ice, Roe slid the puck into the open right side of the net, catching Johnson hugging the left post.
In the opening minutes of the second period, Andy Miele scored on a wrister from the top of the circle, the one goal Munroe said he would like to have back. A couple minutes later, Zac Rinaldo thought he had tied it again, but hit the post.
Sean Couturier tied the game at 3-3 on a power play midway through the second period.
On their second five-on-three opportunity in about a two-minute span, the Phantoms peppered Johnson with short-range shots. Couturier jumped on a rebound and fired it in. Referee Chris Brown initially waved the goal off, but confirmed it on video replay, a new addition to the AHL.
The Pirates committed nine penalties and gave the Phantoms three five-on-three chances.
“I would say our lack of discipline really hurt us tonight,” Portland head coach John Slaney said. “You can’t commit that many penalties against anyone, especially a team with the guys they have. We learned the hard way tonight.”
Portland 2 1 0 — 3
Adirondack 2 1 3 — 6
First Period — 1, Portland, Werek 1 (Lane), 10:15. 2, Adirondack, Zolnierczyk 1 (Bordson), 18:24. 3, Portland, Ekman-Larsson 1 (Miele), 19:09. 4, Adirondack, Roe 1 (Holmstrom, McGinn), 19:41. Penalties — Summers Por (holding the stick), 4:13; Werek Por (slashing), 8:08; Syvret Adk (tripping), 13:01; Shinnimin Por (interference), 20:00.
Second Period — 5, Portland, Miele 1,1:14. 6, Adirondack, Couturier 1 (Syvret, Schenn), 13:51 (pp). Penalties — Couturier Adk (tripping), 0:30; Summers Por (high sticking), 10:51; Hextall Por (slashing), 12:01; Ekman-Larsson Por (slashing), 13:10; Bourdon Adk (closing hand on puck), 18:37; Syvret Adk (delay), 18:59.
Third Period — 7, Adirondack, McGinn 1 (Holmstrom, Roe), 4:19 (pp). 8, Adirondack, Schenn 1 (Couturier), 14:44 (sh). 9, Adirondack, Schenn 2, 19:09 (en). Penalties — Louis Por (cross checking), 1:50; Szwarz Por (delay), 3:13; Ford Adk (slashing), 14:04; Hextall Por (slashing), 14:44.
Shots on goal — Portland 12-15-6—33; Adirondack 11-17-20—48.
Power plays — Portland 0-5; Adirondack 2-8.
Goalies — Portland, Johnson 0-1-0 (47 shots—42 saves); Adirondack, Munroe 1-0-0 (33-30).
A — 4,801
Ref — Chris Brown.